The Kegley Institute of Ethics at Cal State Bakersfield will be hosting the Humanities Beyond Bars (HBB) Symposium, a series of events April 7th and 8th, on the CSUB campus to bring together formerly incarcerated students and scholars, activists, and campus and community members for collaboration, mutual support, and knowledge sharing.
Michael Burroughs, the director of the Kegley Institute of Ethics, shared concern for the Central Valley being referred to as prison valley by activists because it holds 15 prisons. He stated that this causes major economic and social impacts.
“We want to bring public attention to the realities of incarceration in our region and the impact that has, and what it means for us to devote the resources we do towards imprisoning people as opposed to other uses we might make of those state and local resources that we have,” said Burroughs.
The HBB Symposium will begin on April 7 at 6 pm, with a lecture from Earlonne Woods and Nigel Poor, Creators and Hosts of the podcast, Ear Hustle. Woods and Poor will then sign copies of their new book, This is Ear Hustle: Unflinching Stories of Everyday Prison Life.
The HBB Symposium will continue on April 8 with a series of interactive workshops and talks led by formerly incarcerated scholars, activists, and content experts from CSU Project Rebound, Defy Ventures, and the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights (EBCHR).
The topics will range from; grassroots organizing with currently incarcerated people for criminal justice reform, entrepreneurship as a means for supporting the re-entry of formerly incarcerated persons, and supporting formerly incarcerated women’s leadership at the universities.
April 8th will also feature a keynote address from James King (Campaign Manager for EBCHR) on “Understanding Prison Abolition in Practice.”
Burroughs hopes that these workshops provide people with concrete skills and give a chance for overall community building.
“I think there’s a lot of power that comes from sitting in the same room with people from the community and the campus and having discussions together around these important topics,” said Burroughs.
Anyone interested in attending the workshops can register here.